Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Truth and Trust
TM: I can see upon reflection of what you have said about reincarnation and karma that I had a notion that it was a form of punishment to correct wrongdoing, or reward for good things done. And one has to come back time and time again to get it right. That’s not it though, is it?
Master Buddha: Getting it right, meaning purifying your essence while in material form, and consequently purifying your material form would be one way to see it. Punishment and reward is wholly a human concept.
TM: But we have so many stories of God(s) punishing people for all sorts of things they did wrong, or for disobeying God(s). How do we change our orientation toward that model?
Master Buddha: I don’t know. You could just give it up because it no longer serves you.
TM: Well, that’s just too easily said. Much harder to do I think.
Master Buddha: You have to make that choice whether to hold on to what you once knew and cherished as truth or to embrace a new idea that better suits your current state.
TM: How do you know when it’s time to do that?
Master Buddha: Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen if I embrace this new thought? Can you not retrieve the old one? Who gave you all these rules that you must rigidly follow?
TM: I suppose at some point I accepted them as truth and have clung to them because I want to live according to truth.
Master Buddha: Truth shifts with you. It is not a fixed thing that you can cling to and drag it around. Truth represents reality. But remember that your journey on Earth in material form presents you with an avalanche of illusion. You must be adaptable and truth seeking, not truth-clinging.
TM: Don’t you have to have something to hold onto for just a little while? I mean, isn’t truth-seeking a truth to follow? When would you give that up?
Master Buddha: As soon as I believe it no longer serves me. And service to me could mean something very different than when I adopted truth-seeking in the first place. You like many others are afraid of losing control and so you place limits; you reduce meaning and experience. Reincarnation and karma allow for a non-judgmental experience of life in material form. If you are fluid enough in your orientation you can experience all that there is in the world of illusion in a very short time. If you’re not, then you can take a long time to spin around in the same space until you realize that is what you’re doing.
TM: How do we know which truths to trust and to follow?
Master Buddha: You don’t know based upon trust do you? You know based upon deliberation in a mental process. You know based upon what has been handed down through the ages in the form of teachings and social norms. You know according to your familial orientation. And you know according to what serves your ego.
If you knew based upon trust, you would not need those other inputs would you?
TM: So you’re implying that I need to find trust first?
Master Buddha: The ego does not trust; it scans. It searches high and low for signs of agreement or disagreement with its agenda. It will play any role that serves to maintain its primacy. It is, in fact, the most worthy foe of any one you could meet. And it is who you think you are.
Trust is incongruent with ego. That is, unconditional trust is in congruent with ego. Trust based upon conditions and waivers abound with the ego. To seek truth with such a handicap is nearly impossible if not maddening.
In ancient cultures, trust was based upon instinct. With modern civilization, the mental faculty has replaced instinct. Beyond the mental faculty you will discover the true seat of trust for your purposes of living on Earth. Then you may choose truths based upon trust.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Spirituality and Governance
TM: Neither of you have ever taken much interest in politics and government in our conversations. And yet both of those activities have such a major impact on humanity that I wonder why you have stayed away from those areas.
Master Jesus: There are Masters who work directly with those institutions and we coordinate with them of course. Religion and spirituality must be transcendent, from the perspective of teaching, while incorporated as a matter of practical application. Humans must be free to explore their personal spiritual nature without encumbrance. If the process of spiritual self-discovery is intertwined with politics and government there is no way to allow complete freedom to the individual and control the many variables of a society.
Governments must be able to curb freedoms of its members to the extent that it is necessary to preserve peace and remove violence from their daily lives. But spiritual freedom is absolutely necessary to the individual if he is to reach his pinnacle of potential. He will in turn contribute mightily to society through his daily activities, like work and governance. It’s a mistake to think that spiritual understanding is a code for social governance at the group level, especially as diverse as are the populations of Earth.
TM: Yes, but governments are made up of spiritual and non-spiritual people who have to draw upon some code that is embodied in the laws of the land. Are you saying that the spiritual people shouldn’t suggest using spiritual understandings to guide the creating, enforcing and regulation of laws?
Master Jesus: I’m saying there is a fundamental difference between an individual understanding spiritual realities and a society choosing a code of conduct for its members. One is based upon complete freedom to explore and delve deeply into personal matters, while the other is dedicated to finding the most superficial level of engagement across a diverse array of personalities that must live together in peace and harmony. Without peace and harmony there is no point to governance because there is no point to living in a community. Humans congregate because it serves them to do so. Governance preserves the value of the community from a social perspective, not a spiritual one. By its nature, governance will have spiritual overtones if it consists of spiritual individuals. But it shouldn’t consciously strive to integrate spiritual codes into legal codes.
TM: I’m not sure I’m grasping this concept. Let me state it and you tell me- so if the members of a society tend to be spiritual themselves, even though they may not consciously try to mirror their internal spiritual nature in devising laws, it inevitably will mirror their spiritual nature. Is that what you mean?
Master Jesus: That’s close. But let me put it another way that may help you to understand. If I am a member of a society, I am also an individual. I accept that my social freedoms intersect with other members of my society and I accept that I may not express all of who I am all the time in the context of society. There is a governor so to speak on my actions in order to preserve the peace of my society just as others are doing the same. We agree to blunt our expressions to the degree that it is in the best interest for us to do so.
I am an individual who is permitted complete freedom to explore my spiritual nature and so are the other members. I can choose my beliefs and can worship whatever or whomever I choose in whatever way I choose. Now the big qualifier is that I can do this so long as it doesn’t involve me violating anyone else’s right to enjoy the same freedom. This means that my personal spiritual experience serves me individually and others who consent of their free will. But it shall not be imposed upon others.
The US and Canada have the closest approximation of this arrangement, as do some European nations and other democracies throughout the world. It requires a general sense of overall freedom in order to allow freedom for religious or spiritual pursuit. Governments that are authoritarian will not permit those freedoms because there will be an imbalance between the secular and the spiritual and eventually human nature will push for freedoms in the secular. Dictators know this and thus control religious freedom to a level equal to or slightly less than the secular freedoms.
The measure of a government’s willingness to permit spiritual freedom for its members can be seen in how it treats secular freedoms. Presumably in the freer societies, members openly participate in the adoption of codes of governance. More and more in your country have the leaders and powerful influences begun to strip away secular freedoms under the guise of security for all. You can see how this is working out and they understand that they must maintain the balance with religious freedom, i.e. religious freedom cannot expand beyond the secular boundaries. It will be a matter of time before small efforts will be made to curb religious freedoms. Without an adjustment in this way, they risk losing the ground they have gained in reducing the secular freedoms.
TM: I can see why you stay out of politics. So, I do understand the balance required. But it seems like a difficult thing to measure when changes are subtle.
Master Jesus: It’s a difficult thing to measure under any circumstances because of the complexities of modern society. But you do have a baseline of freedom from which any deviation can be marked. Just as there is a political outcry against reduction of personal freedoms, so too will there be a rejection of loss of religious freedom when that moment arrives. It is less subtle to those affected and they will signal the deviation from the baseline. Just listen.
TM: Will you speculate on a motive for reduction of freedom by those in power?
Master Jesus: I think that it is a mix of motivations, some are consciously aware of what they are doing and others’ motivations are so ancient that they are operating on automatic reactions of fear and greed. In modern societies, at least the past 2500 years, there has been recognition of this balance required between the secular and the religious, even when the religious right and might is used to govern the secular, and even when the secular powers have tried to extinguish or marginalize religious power. Politicians and rulers have learned that there must be balance even when it is slightly skewed to one side or the other. That may sound like a contradiction, but balance doesn’t always mean equal portions or weights; it isn’t needed to govern if your intent is to control others for your purposes. There is point at which one can push his agenda to achieve his goals while permitting just enough freedom to keep the whole system from falling over. The above statements, notwithstanding, the thing that cannot happen is that religious freedom cannot be greater than the secular freedom without the system toppling.
TM: Why not?
Master Jesus: There are two reasons. The first is that religious leaders can be prone to the same corruption spurred by power and vanity as secular leaders. If they are too much in a position of power because of an imbalance in freedoms it is more likely they will grab for the secular domain to pull under their power, which will force a reduction in the religious freedoms that helped them gain their power in the first place.
The second reason is that individuals are who free to pursue their spiritual life and spiritual understanding will eventually recognize the injustice in a system that too strictly rules their secular life and they will rise up against it.
So you can have a system whereby the secular freedom is equal to or slightly greater than the religious freedom and there can be balance. But the opposite is not true. There must be a relative balance up or down the scale in the ratio of permissiveness to restriction.
TM: Well, wouldn’t the result then be a balance, i.e. secular freedoms would rise slightly and religious freedoms might stay the same, but drop relatively?
Master Jesus: Yes, that is the point of my statement. A system whereby the religious freedoms are greater than secular freedoms cannot be sustained. There will inevitably be an adjustment.
TM: So, how do you coordinate then with the Masters who work in the area of government?
Master Jesus: We coordinate very much in the same way you on the physical plane would coordinate such an effort, but without the politics of egos and fear. We meet on a regular basis to discuss our respective plans and we identify areas that we can focus on together to bring about specific results that accomplish our respective goals. Please remember that we follow a plan that has been created by beings who are the creators of this world. So, in that sense we are working within a general framework that has anticipated many of the variables that exist today and has also provided many of the solutions for us to follow. There is a range of experimentation though and that is how we learn.
TM: I followed that, but want to know what you mean by “beings who are the creators of this world.” That sounds like we’re back to the alien discussion when you phrase it that way.
Master Jesus: I won’t repeat ground that has been covered in that conversation. But let me say that it takes awhile for you to accept the concept that there are other beings in the universe and that they just might have something to do with this planet and all its inhabitants. When I use the term ‘beings’ I am of course referring to beings of a spiritual existence who have created all the worlds in this universe. You cannot yet accept that this is true, yet you can’t offer an alternate explanation for how all this came to be. This assumes an acceptance that there is more than just the physical existence of what one can identify through the five known human senses. There is a great body of human scientific work to explain the purely physical part, and there is only religious work to explain what is behind it all. And that work is antiquated for the times and is now being updated through release of new information.
TM: You’re right, repetition is needed to help me get to some of the larger ideas. But I think I represent a lot of folks who have heard the same story for so long that it is difficult to let go of it even if we want to. Most of us struggle with balancing our checkbooks and finding quality time with our kids and friends, or just quiet time to contemplate these matters. I know you and the other Masters have compassion for us, but every once in awhile I feel I have to defend the difficulties of human life.
Master Jesus: All of the Masters who are in a position to lead humanity at this time have all served at one time or another in human form and well know the rigors of daily living. We also know the stubbornness of the human ego and how it clings to beliefs and attachments to desires of the flesh for comfort and a sense of security. We are reminded of our time in human form and what a struggle it was to go to sleep with the worries of the day upon one’s mind and how difficult it was to wake up and start the day when those worries had not receded through the night.
But don’t mistake our compassion as an excuse for the inherent laziness of the ego. We appeal to the soul of humanity to rise above the petty grievances of the ego and recognize your true selves. It is your ego that frets over the checkbook and whether or not your hair is clean enough, thick enough or pretty enough. It is your ego that wastes time and energy fretting over the million and one things that have to do with your self-image and how others see you that make you attractive to one another. There are deeper issues that will satisfy the soul’s longing for connection with each other, but you must drop your infatuation with the appetite of the ego and embrace what is important to your spirit. That is the role of the Masters, to bring you to that realization.
TM: Is it laziness of the ego or just ignorance? I know that when my ego runs on mind energy it tirelessly pursues its agenda; there’s nothing lazy about it.
Master Jesus: Yes, perhaps you are correct on this point under certain circumstances like worry or anxiety. But then there are the states of contentment for creature comforts that bring a wave of self-satisfaction to the ego and create an attachment to its comfort zone. This is more to my point of laziness.
TM: Would you say that the ego is the biggest problem in getting to the realization you’re referring to?
Master Jesus: The ego was born with the endowment of mind and elevated mental capabilities of humans. It has grown in proportion to those capabilities. Therefore, you see magnificent sized egos who also possess great powers of creation. Likewise you see powerful creators with virtually little egos. The ego is the primary impediment to realization of the true self, but it is not a permanent barrier. Nor is it in most cases absolute. That makes our work possible to succeed. For you as an individual to determine your success, it is a matter of allocation of personal energy, i.e. how much goes to ego manufacturing and maintenance and how much goes to integration of the self and higher creativity?
The ego is a creation of the personal self, meaning the corporeal-self. It is, in and of itself an amazing creation, except that it also insane and that negates the ingenuity of its creation. What human has not confused the ego for the true self? That is its power. It supplants the identity of the self and runs the show so to speak. The problem of course is that, since it isn’t real it requires enormous energy to create the illusion that it is real. It enlists the emotional nature because this allows it to manipulate the desire aspect, which it needs to preserve its own control. The physical body, to the extent it is capable is the servant to the ego and emotional desires. Thus one can see the corporeal-self and its identity as the ego.
TM: Okay, that’s a lot to absorb. One piece at a time. If the ego has been created by the corporeal-self, then it exists and is real, right?
Master Jesus: We have covered reality versus illusion, but can do it again if you wish.
TM: Maybe the lite-version to help with this.
Master Jesus: If I write a novel and create a character, is that character real or imagined (an illusion)? Would you expect to encounter that character on the street in front of your house?
TM: I could argue that the character is real within the context it was created. But for me walking down the street, no it is not real.
Master Jesus: Your ego and everyone’s personal ego are the characters created by you and everyone else. Your ego seems real to you as you live within the context that you have created for the ego and it will furnish you with other characters that it will script into your story for the purpose of maintaining the profile it wishes to maintain. In this vein, everyone is living within the context of a script written by her ego, who starts out as the character but transforms into the author. It is the filter through which you and everyone else lives. This is a personal reality in the way the novel is a personal reality of its creator the author. But from an objective observer outside that personal reality it is seen for the fiction that it is.
To summarize, the ego is your personal illusion, which all humans share and collectively create an entire field of illusion. Your true self lies hid behind the curtain of this performance waiting for reality to take the stage. The soul must make the recognition that the ego is not the real, true self and begin to dissemble the illusory world created by the ego. The ego of course believes that it is the real self and has already built in defense mechanisms for this attack on its existence. This is a great period of time of tension between the soul and the ego as the soul struggles to let go of the ego and the ego struggles to maintain its place of reality. The spirit is ever planting clues for the soul to recognize the truth in order to keep its appointment with reality and throw off the ego as impostor. Maybe this goes for thousands of lifetimes until finally the soul breaks free of the illusion and embraces the spirit, which begins the phase of integration.
TM: So, we’re all insane and live in an illusion because you and other spirits are our objective observes and tell us so. And your work is to teach us how to escape our illusion and arrive at the reality that you show is reality. How do I know that’s not just another illusion and one a damn sight worse than the one I’m in?
Master Jesus: As a teacher I don’t define reality for you, but I help you reach your true self who will inform you about reality. I can witness for you the truth, which I present and you can decide. And yes, at some level there is a truth, beyond which, we are incapable of knowing reality. That of course means that we are by some measure, in an illusion, but that point is so far beyond where we are today that it isn’t worth much to ponder.
TM: Damn, this system requires a lot of trust doesn’t it?
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Loneliness and Love (Part 2)
TM: Is it an addiction?
Master Jesus: Of course it is. You cling to the old story out of comfort in the fact that it is known, while the new story isn’t known. Humanity has struggled with this dilemma for eons. Always there are those who support change and those in the majority who resist it. This is built into the evolution of the species. If change was too rapid, the status quo might never reach its peak of efficacy. Remember the status quo was selected as the story to abide by at some point. When it begins to wear down in efficacy a new way is discovered. Those comfortable with the old way resist the new way while the others champion the cause of the new way. The tension is created and at some point things change. The addiction is the rationalization that something is good for you when it has passed the point of being so.
TM: So loneliness is an addiction?
Master Jesus: Loneliness is an experience of what love isn’t, which leads to a bridge experience of hope that leads to the promise of love. Back and forth it goes. It is the story that is addictive; the experience of loneliness is part of the story.
TM: Easier said than done to change it. How do we just let the old story go?
Master Jesus: That’s not easy. But consider that it starts with awareness that the new story may be true. Then gradually you begin to notice evidence of the truth. Over time as you welcome the truth the old story wears down until it no longer holds you in its grasp. The ones who understood the truth and who agitated for change usually go through this process too. The timing is different for everyone.
TM: It seems overwhelming at times, the idea that we have so much to understand in order to alter our present course. Sometimes the will to keep things the same over powers the forces of change. But you’re saying it has always been that way?
Master Jesus: Yes, and every generation thinks it’s worse for them; that the stakes are higher. By the way, the forces of change challenge the bedrock of status quo. The energy of the status quo is not so fluid, having crystallized over time. I say that metaphorically to underscore how thought forms behave.
TM: May I change the subject given the subject of change?
Master Jesus: See how easy it is?
TM: What are the greatest expressions of love that you observe in our culture of modern times?
Master Jesus: There are expressions of love through individuals and through institutions and they are in abundance throughout the world every second. Believe it or not it is the predominate emotion.
TM: Really? It doesn’t seem that way. I thought you said in our last conversation that the other energies were stronger right now and that you guys are trying to strengthen love to make it dominant.
Master Jesus: We are strengthening the manifestations of love, so that when the force that comes in behind it comes, love will be expressed so fully that everyone will experience it. It’s not what you observe so much because of the filters of observation. To many, expressions of love are signs of weakness, or at the very least non-productive. I observe the intimate moments between a parent and child, which is possibly the most intense expression of love. There is romantic love that for some is the only expression of love that they have ever known. There is the expression of love between friends; that love being rooted in loyalty and forgiveness and most closely imbibed with no conditions.
When I witness communities coming together to help one of its members through a crisis; that is an expression of love. An act of creation inspired by love can be a beautiful song, a painting, a home crafted with the hands of its inhabitants or a building 50 stories high that embraces the dreams of its residents. I find expressions of love in the works of many. You call it survival, but I say that it’s love. Providing for one’s survival is love. It has been distorted and made into a material quest for more, but it is nevertheless the ultimate expression of love for one’s self. It doesn’t matter if it is used to gratify the ego or punish one’s neighbor or competitor. It is an act of love to survive.
TM: Hang on just a second. You’re saying that love can be used to gratify egos and punish people and that’s okay?
Master Jesus: I’m saying that survival is an act of love, perhaps the ultimate act. The act itself is not diminished by misinterpretation.
TM: So, if someones intent is to survive, that’s love. And if they happen to kill a few people along the way, that’s okay?
Master Jesus: Hmmm…. that’s a bit extreme isn’t it? We’re talking about love and you’re mixing in attributes of what love isn’t. I appreciate the confusion that exists around absolute rules and definitions. That is what humanity wants you know, precise definitions and guidelines. I’m sorry to disappoint you in that regard, but it doesn’t work that way. Every time you create a black and white answer to a complex system you inevitably end up with contradictions in practice.
Let’s take these one at a time. Survival is an act of self-love. Providing for one’s loved ones for their survival is an act of love. The next part of your question then moves to the means of survival; how one goes about securing the provisions for survival. The means to an end debate has gone on for some time, but hasn’t really been decided has it?
TM: It has for me, although it is a major struggle at times depending on how refined you make it. I wouldn’t kill someone in order to get food or water.
Master Jesus: Let’s say a group of people in your community formed a militia and commandeered the food and water supplies. They are determined that only certain people are entitled to these supplies and the rest shall perish through starvation. In a sense, they are killing you and others like you. Assume you have no other outside resources. Is it self-defense for you to harm them in your quest for survival?
TM: I don’t know what I would do. To do nothing means I would die and if killing them was the only means to survive myself, then that doesn’t seem right either. What’s the right thing to do in that case?
Master Jesus: There isn’t a right thing to do in this case. There is only what you would do and what they would do. We’re assuming this scenario from your perspective of survival. But what if we peered into their perspective and discovered that their actions are necessary to the survival of the community because they have discovered that there is a lethal, communicable disease running rampant throughout the community and they are able to isolate the infected ones from the healthy members. The food and water provisions are likely to be disrupted because of this calamity and so a quarantine of the sick ones and rationing of the scarce provisions is the only way for the healthy members of the community to survive and rebuild the community. Should all the members of the community perish because they haven’t the will to allow the ones with a lethal disease to die without wasting their means of survival?
TM: These are the scenarios we pray we never have to face; the stories of stranded expeditions where people resort to cannibalizing to survive. It hurts to even imagine what I would do.
Master Jesus: We have examined an extreme case that most people never have to face. But by degrees from this, people do experience it in some form or another. That is why it is so difficult, for example, for a wealthy person who is many degrees from starvation to understand the plight of those who are inches from starvation. People don’t know to whom they should attribute their good fortune to survive comfortably. Some thank themselves, some thank God and some thank others. Others don’t know whom to curse for their misfortune.
TM: As of this writing, the aftermath of the tsunami that struck countries in the Indian Ocean bears witness to much suffering and at the same time much compassion by wealthier countries. What can you say to this situation?
Master Jesus: You’re right the suffering is immense and the outpouring of aid once it was realized the amount of devastation has also been immense. This is an example of what I’m talking about. The next step is to recognize the chronic suffering by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world every day. In some cases emergency aid is warranted, but for the most part it is the long-term commitment of resource sharing that is needed. The tension exists between the aggressive tendencies of humanity against the tender heart of humanity. This can be measured by the level of fear in the minds of those in control of the resources. The greater their fear, the more they rely on aggressive tendencies (even though they’re couched as defensive). As fear is diminished, so they are open to loving response.
It’s rare to find an individual with the capacity to share what they have with others. Sometimes their sharing is limited by their fear that maybe they won’t have enough for themselves when the time arrives. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know where to begin. Sometimes they follow the institutional giving route that makes it easier to identify to whom to give and how much. Groups behave in a similar manner. To the government sharing add the component of strategic politics. Sharing starts with increasing individual capacity for sharing by reducing fear. For this reason individual awareness is a major focus of spiritual work.